For you and the people you love, living with hearing loss can be difficult to adjust to. Sometimes, it can even be hazardous.
What’s going to happen if you can’t hear a smoke detector or somebody yelling your name? Car sounds can indicate dangers ahead, but if you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t hear them.
Don’t stress yourself out over the “what ifs”. The first thing that a person with untreated hearing loss should do is get a hearing exam. Here are a few recommendations to help keep individuals with hearing aids and their families safer whether or not they’re using their hearing aid.
1. Take a friend with you when you go out
If you can, bring somebody with you who isn’t struggling to hear. If you need to go out alone, ask people to come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Stay focused when you’re driving
Because you can depend on your hearing less, it’s important to minimize other distractions behind the wheel. Don’t use your phone or GPS when you’re driving, just pull over if you need to change your route. Before you drive, if you are worried that you might have a problem with your hearing, call us for an evaluation.
Don’t feel embarrassed if you have to turn off the radio or ask passengers to stop talking during more decisive moments of your drive. Safety first!
3. Consider a service animal
For individuals who have loss of vision, epilepsy, or other problems, a service dog seems obvious. But if you have auditory problems, they can also be very helpful. A service dog can be trained to alert you to hazards. When someone is at your door they can let you know.
They can help you with your hearing issues and they are also good companions.
4. Make a plan
Before an emergency takes place, prepare a plan. Discuss it with other people. If you plan to go into the basement during a tornado, be certain your family knows where they’ll find you. In case of a fire, plan a specified spot that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, emergency personnel, and your family will know where you will be if something were to happen.
5. When you’re driving, adjust to visual cues
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has worsened. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly adjusted, you might find yourself relying more on your eyes. Be alert to flashing lights on the road since you might not hear sirens. When kids or pedestrians are around, stay extra vigilant.
6. Share your limitations with friends and family
It may be tough to admit, but it’s important that people in your life are aware of your hearing issues. You might need to get to safety and people around you will be able to make you aware of something you may have missed. They most likely won’t bother alerting you if they think you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
As somebody living with hearing loss, you may not be able to hear unusual thumps, clicks, or screeches when you drive. These noises could suggest a mechanical problem with your vehicle. Your car could take serious damage and your safety might be at risk if these noises aren’t addressed. It’s a smart idea to ask a trustworthy mechanic for their opinion on the condition of your vehicle when you take it in for an oil change or inspection.
8. Have your hearing loss treated
If you want to be safe, having your hearing loss treated is crucial. In order to identify if you require a hearing aid, have your hearing tested annually. Don’t allow pride, money, or time constraints deter you. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and surprisingly affordable. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in all aspects of your life.